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Sacramento Municipal Utility District
California | CA
Distributed Solar Systems,Solar Energy Credits (RECs, etc),Residential System Incentives ($/kW),Commercial System Incentives ($/kWh),Building Initiatives (green, subdivisions, etc)
The Sacramento Municipal Utility District's (SMUD) SolarSmart Homes program started in 2007 providing funding directly to homebuilders to construct homes with a PV system and a prescriptive set of energy efficiency features. Customers are not part of the installation decision process, and they simply decide whether or not to purchase a new home that has a PV system already installed within the area. The target is to reduce home energy use by 60%. There are currently 4,000 homes scheduled to be built through the program with approximately 7.7 MW of capacity. SMUD owns the Renewable Energy Credits (REC's) for the homes.
The average PV system size on the homes is 2 kW and utilizes building-integrated modules. The PV incentive was $3/watt-ac for the first builder but has a de-escalation schedule for each subsequent builder. There are currently eleven builders in the program and the incentive is $2.20/watt-ac. SMUD must approve a home builder's PV system design prior to signing an interconnection agreement with the individual home owner.
The PV systems are all separately metered. SMUD is developing a feature, through the commercially available software program called Power Clerk that allows home owners to monitor their home's energy performance independently.
A distinctive feature of this program is the positive cash flow consumers receive from their solar installation on a monthly basis. SMUD buys down a portion of the cost with the builder program and the remainder of the upfront costs can be included in the long-term home mortgage. The additional monthly mortgage costs are covered by the revenue savings from the PV and energy efficiency improvements. The program furthermore fulfills the utility's goal of being a leader in solar energy, reducing greenhouse gases, and meeting the minimum requirements under the California Solar Initiative, which contains a goal to have 3,000 MW of customer-sited PV installed across the state.
General Project Description: http://www.smud.org/residential/solarsmart/index.html
SolarSmart Homes Video Clip: http://www.brightcove.tv/title.jsp?title=1173350915&channel=769719904